There are annual waste statistics that must be made for every country and every city. These statistics include the amount of waste recycled, reused, and burned for the businesses and households during the year.
Ever since the year 2012, at Rubbish Please we realised that London has been in what you might call a waste crisis. As population grows, so does consumption and rubbish. How is it doing today and how are things improving or being worked on?
Sadly, not much has changed on the waste management scene throughout London.
The amount of waste burned is still around 40%, a number going around for nearly five years now. And that is coming from an era just twenty years ago when this number barely hit the 20%. The anaerobic digestion is not doing any better as well and all the strategies so far have changed very little in the landscape of Greater London.
Many have spoken but few have been heard.
Landfills are still the number one way to take care of waste, but that is costing the city dearly.
Its citizens are paying crazy sums, around £300 million collectively to keep up the heaps and heaps of hazardous waste which does nothing more than pollute, whether it stays there or it gets incinerated. Obviously, the burden of waste costs us both in pollution and funds.
What is the alternative?
London’s recycling centers are mostly fuelled up by the waste clearance companies in town, but they seemed befuddled with regards to the number of customers they get.
“London is in a dire state,” says Richards from the rubbish removal company RubbishMan Ltd “England’s worst region for recycling, that’s for sure. The household recycling rate here is barely 35% on average.” say the experts.
People keep paying the ever-growing landfill taxes but refuse to choose the cheaper and healthier method of professional waste clearance. Natural resources are being burned out rather than recycled and the entirety of London is getting the downside on an annual basis.
“The mayor’s plan didn’t do anything,” adds Richard. “It is a bit better than usual, but things aren’t about to just get cleared, not at this rate. More action and dedication are required.”
London’s households are to blame for a lot of the waste problems the city is facing. With the busy lifestyle of today, people are too invested in going through the motions of the day and then having a bit of lie down once their feet hit the front porch. If there is any waste management to be done around the house, it is usually limited to throwing the rubbish bags into the rubbish bins and making the entire household waste the city’s problem.
All that waste naturally goes into the landfill, and the picture is complete – only pollution and more waste will follow. Piles build up and it’s left to Nature to pay the bill and that’s a pricey bill if we may add.
The increase in incinerated waste is very steep.
The previously recorded statistic of 12% has not moved much and that alone is mind-numbing. Londoners closest to the incineration plants are breathing nothing but burnt plastic. The records show that nothing has changed in the past 17 years.
There is still a plan going that is supposed to decrease the amount of waste in London with over 5 tonnes until 2020, but there is a lot that depends on. The single anaerobic digestion plant in London is taking care of all the planned waste and most of the resources behind the mayor’s plan are going there. In this plan, all waste should be turned into energy generation fuel.
In comparison, Scotland has only used residual waste on their digestor and their recycling rates are close to 70%. Those are real results of a pro-active eco-friendly policy.
The next decade will be vital for London.
It has constantly been considered as the dirtiest city in England and it needs to change. The people and the environment are all waiting and further action and more awareness is required. Unfortunately, that’s not happening only in the UK capital but all over the world. Overconsumption is out of control and it’s up to us to change our future and that of our children.